Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "destabilize" []

  • To upset the stability or smooth functioning of: a policy that threatens to destabilize the economy; a new weapon that threatens to destabilize nuclear deterrence. (verb-transitive)
  • To undermine the power of (a government or leader) by subversive or terrorist acts. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "destabilize" in a sentence
  • "PLANTE: So the "Washington Post" is reporting this morning that there are members of the Bush administration that are interested in putting together something of an orchestrated program to apply pressure to the Iranian regime in an effort to destabilize, that is the word used, perhaps in the hope that over the long term, that a popular uprising in this very youthful nation that is currently led by, for the most part, elderly Islamic clerics, may topple in the face of popular descent -- Fredricka."
  • "Mr. Matonga said those receiving funds from the U.S. were also working to "destabilize" the government."
  • "Fahim insisted the bomb attack was designed to "destabilize" the region, not just eliminate him."